Dark Comedy by George F. Walker Disturbs Gershwin Theater, April 25 May 5
April 22, 2002 Escape From Happiness, by celebrated
Canadian playwright George F. Walker, brings its decidedly unorthodox
family values to the main stage at Brooklyn College's Gershwin Theater
for ten performances, April 25 through May 5.
Set in the kitchen of a run-down family home,
the play seems to have little to recommend it as comedic entertainment.
Tom (Dan Roach), is an ex-cop who physically abused his family before
walking out on them. He seems to be suffering from an Alzheimer's-like
dementia and is incapable of heating his own soup when he returns to his
wife, Nora (Mary Claire Dunn) and three grown daughters after ten years.
Nora believes her husband is really dead and that this person she has
allowed to live in her home just happens to resemble him. Tom is shunned
by everyone except his youngest daughter, Gail (Emily Strang) and her
husband, Junior (Eric Scarimbolo).
The play begins with Junior lying in a pool of
blood on the kitchen floor. The pair of detectives who arrive on the scene
to investigate the attack believe it might be linked to organized crime.
Gail calls her two sisters for a family meeting. Middle sister Mary-Ann
(Rachel Flehinger) is at a crossroads in her own self-obsessed world and
has apparently just left her husband and baby. Oldest sister Elizabeth
(Katarina Vizina) is a lawyer and, therefore, one might suppose, well
placed to help her family. But Elizabeth, too, has issues.
The production features a cast of ten student actors, including B.F.A. acting students and first- and second-year M.F.A. acting students. Performances of Escape from Happiness will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for Thursday and Friday evening and the Saturday matinee and $11 for Saturday evening and the Sunday matinee. Prices for senior citizen and student ticket prices are $9 for Thursday and Friday evening and the Saturday matinee, $10 for the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee. Student rush tickets, $5, are available on Thursday and Friday evening and the Saturday matinee one hour prior to curtain (with student identification). For more information, call the Brooklyn Center box office, (718) 951-4500.